2 min

Maybe they never loved us

What gay marriage really means to straights

Credit: Xtra files

It would seem reports of the death of homophobia have been greatly exaggerated. Suddenly the issue of people of the same sex marrying one another is not the fait accompli we once thought it was.

No one really believed this would go off without a hitch, did they? The fact that the entire issue has made it this far is amazing and says, I think,a great deal for the Canadian fairness ethic.

But behind the smoke-screen of all this rightwing rhetoric – religious beliefs (in a secular nation), the sanctity of the institution (how much sanctity can be found on Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire?), the argument that this will open the door to people marrying their pets (marriage, like sex, can only be consensual and so leaves out children, animals and the dead) – there’s only one real reason for this last minute altar balking by the hetero folk.

They’re scared to death that if they allow homosexual people to marry, there will be absolutely nothing left in the world that they’re good at. This is not to say that straight people are particularly adept at marriage. In fact, as divorce statistics clearly indicate, they’re not. But as long as only they can do it there’s no possibility of homos doing it better.

After all we’ve pretty much outclassed them at, well, everything so far. In fact, in a mere 30-some years queers have evolved from culturally invisible mental defectives to the rulers of the cable TV universe. Most straight people are still unable to speak to their children candidly about sex despite having a sexual revolution every 30 years.

Where once we were depicted only as pathetic victims, disturbed killers and hilariously nelly neighbours, suddenly we are in their homes every night of the week in our multi-faceted glory. We transform their husbands with Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, moisten their wives with Queer As Folk, open up their intimate possibilities with homosexual acts performed between straight people on Oz, care for their dead on Six Feet Under, give women a new carnal vocabulary on Sex And The City and, in some profound, undeniable way, influence every makeover, cooking or decorating show on the airwaves.

If the marriage battle is won, there will finally be no state-sanctioned differentiation between gay people and straight people. There will be no subtle voices constantly telling us we are somehow less valued or important than our heterosexual counterparts. Like everyone else on the planet, we will only have our families to tell us how worthless and without hope we are. And then, as some straight people already know, there’ll be no stopping us. Marriage will be the last step in the gay agenda to gain control of the all-powerful, defining element of our civilization. Network television.

Once we control network television we will control the world. Hatred, intolerance, ignorance and bad taste will be banished from the small screen. Comedies will be funny. Dramas will be dramatic. Variety shows will actually offer variety. News reportage will be biased only by an intolerance of ignorance and lies. Politicians will be revealed as the fools they are. Our children will learn to worship beauty and knowledge instead of war and violence. Religion will offer comfort and hope instead of prejudice and judgment. People will be seen as the individuals they are rather than the labels society foists on them. In short, full equal rights for gay and lesbian people will eventually lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

Of course, certain straight people are frightened by this.

They should be.

* Brad Fraser is a writer, director and TV show host whose credits include Queer As Folk and the feature film Leaving Metropolis.